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"There is no controversy, I understand the tactics of Martin who had Kwiatkowski behidn and you all saw how the race ended. It was too bad that Diego crashed because we could maybe have done something better together."

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade










19.04.2015 @ 20:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"I was surprised to get a phone call on Friday that I might race. I was more surprised to hear so much support on the side of the road."


Those were the words of Astana's Laurens De Vreese after the finish of the first one-day Ardennes Classic race of the season at the Amstel Gold Race.


De Vreese, who replaced Alexey Lutsenko at the last minute, escaped into a 200km breakaway with five other riders and built an advantage of more than eight minutes on the multiple climbs around Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands.


Teammates Vincenzo Nibali and Diego Rosa attacked the chasing peloton to pass De Vreese and the rest of the breakaway with less than 30km to go, and worked to lower the pressure on race captain Jakob Fuglsang.


"We tried, Diego and I," Nibali told Tuttobiciweb. "But we didn't get much help from our companions. There is no controversy, I understand the tactics of Martin who had Kwiatkowski behidn and you all saw how the race ended. It was too bad that Diego crashed because we could maybe have done something better together.


"The condition? Okay, it's normal that I miss something after long training camp on Mount Teide Teide, but the legs are there and today was a good race. Today's verdict is that I am on the right track. It is a great return, which gives me great confidence. Fleche? With that final I think mainly on Purito Rodriguez. Liege? To win that race I need luck, legs and the perfect day..."


Fuglsang attacked with 6km to go but found no cooperation with his lone breakaway companion. The Danish rider attacked again in the final 2km to close the elite selection of riders.


"I am a bit disappointed that Van Avermaet didn't want to work," he told TV2. "He kept saying 'I want to help but I am not allowed to do so.' I am pretty sure that we would have had an advantage at the top of the Cauberg if we had both worked. And then they would have had to ride fast in the peloton.


"When I attacked, it was all or nothing. I didn't want it to come down to a bunch sprint but that was the outcome. I am pleased with my performance but disappointed not to have achieved a better result."


For his breakaway work, race organizers named De Vreese "Most Combative Rider" at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race. Fuglsang finished in the same time as race winner Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland in a group sprint.


Teammate Lieuwe Westra crashed mid-race and injured his left shin. He received medical care from the team doctor and will be ready to race again on Wednesday at Fleche Wallone.



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